In Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad, large number of civil society activists staged a protest against the continued detention of a Pakistani scientist, Aafia Siddiqui who has been in US prison since 2003.
It’s been ten years since Aafia Siddiqui disappeared under mysterious circumstances from Karachi. Later she ended up in the United States and in 2010, was sentenced to 86 years in prison on charges of shooting at her American interrogators in Afghanistan.
US officials also claim she is an al-Qaeda agent, but her family and many Pakistanis believe this is just a cover-up.
Dr. Aafia is being held at the notorious Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Carswell, Texas where she is kept in the Special housing unit (SHU) which is the most severe confinement category.
Aafia’s release has become one of the top national issues in Pakistan. There have been numerous protests not only in Pakistan but many other countries for her release.
Her supporters say she could be repatriated if the Pakistani president sends a formal request to the US government.
However, Pakistani government does not pin great hopes with such a request due to absence of extradition treaty with the United States.
Though authorities in Pakistan appear to have given up efforts to seek the release of Aafia Siddiqui from US custody, these protestors are determined to bring her back.